Reporter 461, 12 February 2001

£8m for new gene centre

The University of Leeds is opening a new chapter in its study of ‘the book of life’ following an £8m award. The cash will pay for a new centre that will establish Leeds as one of the world’s leading players in genetic science.

The Centre for Biomolecular Interactions at the University will bring together more than a dozen research groups in areas such as molecular medicine, combinatorial chemistry, structural genomics and functional studies, including drug design.

The successful bid was led by Professor Peter Stockley of the Astbury Centre for Structural Molecular Biology. He said: "The new centre, with its state-of-the-art equipment and highly trained research staff, will stimulate new lines of scientific enquiry in the areas of basic molecular biology, medicine and chemistry. Most importantly, scientists at the University will now be able to exploit the opportunities for healthcare, biotechnology and fundamental biosciences afforded by genome sequencing initiatives."

The award was made by the government’s Joint Infrastructure Fund Initiative, where universities were invited to bid for cash to improve research infrastructure.

Members of the successful bid have also been recent recipients of more than £5m from the Wellcome Trust, the UK Medical Research Council and the BBSRC, as well as other charities and industry. These awards have been matched by recent University investment of more than £6m in building to house these staff.

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